PROVO — Sisters Desiree and Nicolette Tran rose to the occasion, downing their opponents as No. 52 BYU women’s tennis dramatically topped San Diego, 4-3, in the home finale Saturday.
With the senior day victory, the Cougars (10-7, 6-1 West Coast Conference) completed a perfect home slate, which is the first since the 1998 season.
“One of our team goals was to be undefeated at home this season,” BYU head coach Lauren Jones-Spencer said. “It feels great to be able to accomplish that goal this year.”
With the match score knotted at 3-3, attention fell on sophomore Nicolette Tran at No. 2 singles. After falling 6-3 in the first set, she clawed back to take the second, 6-4, against Marta Stojanovic.
The wind picked up in the final set, making for less than favorable hitting conditions as the sophomore tried to steal momentum. Stojanovic kept it going in her favor with a 4-3 lead until the weather turned worse, resulting in a rain delay.
Following the delay, Nicolette pushed ahead with the momentum, taking the final three games en route to winning the set, 6-3, while clinching the victory for BYU over the Toreros (8-10, 4-4 WCC).
“It was a tight match and it feels good to pull it out in our favor,” Jones-Spencer said. “It could have gone either way. I’m proud of the girls fighting and staying tough under pressure.”
Senior Desiree Tran, playing in the final home match of her career, came through with the much-needed third point. Playing from the No. 5 slot, the lone Cougar senior secured the win over Idil Haciraifoglu, 6-4, 6-3.
BYU fell behind early in the match after falling in doubles. Juniors Meghan Sheehan-Dizon and Morgan Anderson-Littlewood handed their opponents an 8-1 loss at third doubles, before San Diego came out on top in second doubles, 8-4, and then in first doubles, 8-7 (7-2).
Freshman Savannah Ware evened the match for the Cougars with her victory at No. 6 singles, trouncing Mikayla Morkel-Brink, 6-0, 6-2. Fellow freshman Mayci Jones put the team ahead 2-1 as she overpowered her opponent, 6-3, 6-2, at the No. 1 spot.
“Dez was able to win her last match at home and Nicolette was able to stay tough and pull it out,” Jones-Spencer said. “We decided as kind of a joke — do it for Dez. It was awesome that it came down to them and they were able to pull it out.”
BYU concludes its regular season next week on the road against Portland on Thursday and Gonzaga on Friday, before the WCC Championships on April 23-26.
McKay Perry is the sports information director for BYU men's and women's tennis. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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